White teeth look great. Yellow teeth? Not so much – well, at least according to the media and the magazines. As a result, many of us want brighter, whiter teeth.
The question, as with all these things, is; what causes tooth yellowing in the first place? Is it just a natural part of life? Or does it have something to do with our lifestyle choices?
According to one major toothpaste manufacturer, the primary cause of tooth yellowing is staining. Tooth enamel on the surface of our teeth is white. Underneath tooth enamel is another substance called dentin. Dentin is brown. If tooth enamel is thick, it blocks out the dentin and makes teeth appear white. If tooth enamel is thin, the brown underneath the enamel discolors the teeth. This has the effect of making teeth look more yellow from the outside.
Given that our smile is one of our best assets, it’d be good if there was something we could do about this. Here are the reasons your teeth are going yellow and what you can do about it.
Reason 1: You’ve Got Yellow Teeth Genes
Not everybody’s DNA produces perfectly white enamel. Some people have genes that instruct their bodies to make enamel with a yellow tinge. This is a pain, but you can do something to fix it. First, of, you can try using whitening toothpaste. These toothpaste contain special ingredients. These ingredients artificially boost the whiteness of teeth, even if they’re yellow underneath. The second option is to use whitening strips. You can get these from the supermarket or use services like Dentist 24 Hourly to find a dentist to do it for you. Dentist treatments are often a lot more effective than whitening kits you buy at the store.
Reason 2: You’re Sick
If you suddenly notice your teeth are discolored, it could be because you’re sick. Some diseases can cause teeth to discolor. If you’ve got cancer, chemotherapy can also cause teeth to lose their whiteness. It’s worth noting, however, that sickness usually results in teeth going more brown than yellow. If your teeth are going brown, regular dental treatment won’t solve the problem. You’ll have to go to the doctors and get the underlying illness sorted out first.
Reason 3: You Take Medication
There are a couple of medicines that can darken teeth, especially in children and younger adults. Two such medications are antibiotics doxycycline and tetracycline. Tetracycline is often used by people who suffer from acne.
Other drugs can also cause teeth to yellow, besides antibiotics. These include the antihistamine class of medicines. If you suffer from allergies, your medicine could be the reason for why your teeth are losing their whiteness. Drugs for high blood pressure can have an adverse impact on tooth whiteness too.
If you think that your medicine is making your teeth yellow, take a look at the list of side effects. If you’re worried about it, talk to your doctor. Often, they’ll be able to offer you a different combination of medicines that won’t damage your teeth.
Reason 4: You Don’t Bother Brushing Your Teeth
The number one reason why people’s teeth lose their color is because of a lack of oral hygiene. Oral health is essential to stop the buildup of plaque and tartar. Once plaque sets in, it can be tough to remove.
A lack of oral hygiene also means that stains have longer to be incorporated into the tooth enamel. If stains are left, they can work their way into the enamel itself, causing it to discolor. When this happens, it can be very difficult to remove it.
The good news is that the solution is easy. Just brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. If you use a manual toothbrush, brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth for maximum effect.
Reason 5: You Smoke
Everybody knows that smoking can be very damaging to your health. And everybody knows that it’s the best way to destroy your natural good looks. Smoking makes your hair wiry, skin sallow and teeth brown.
Reason 6: You’re Getting Old
Finally, it’s worth noting that aging itself can cause teeth to brown. The reason for this is that teeth get worn down over the course of a lifetime. The enamel on the surface starts to thin, and the dentin underneath becomes more exposed.
If you’re getting older, you can have your teeth cosmetically whitened with veneers. You can also use one of the many whitening products out there on the market at the moment. Visit your dentist if you’re worried.